There is no question that the best film about the Camino is Emilio Estévez’s film The Way. Not only does the film star his father, Martin Sheen, but also does a fantastic job of portraying the Camino and Spain.
And there’s some exciting news that we’d like to share: The Way will be back in theaters in the US on May 16th.
Tom (Martin Sheen), a successful ophthalmologist, decides to carry his son’s ashes to Compostela. His son had died while crossing the Pyrenees on the Camino. Along the way, Tom will meet locals and other pilgrims, which will ultimately change his life.
The raison d’être of the film
Emilio Estévez’s son Taylor and Martin Sheen had taken a road trip along the Camino de Santiago in 2003. On the trip, Taylor met the woman who would become his wife. Inspired by the Camino itself and the events that happened along the trip, Martin and Taylor approached Emilio with the idea of making a film of the Camino de Santiago. Martin’s character Tom was specifically written for him by his son. Several stories from Jack Hitt’s book Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain were also used as inspiration for the final script.
Another possible reason
Martin Sheen was born Ramón Estévez in the USA. He was the son of Irish born Mary-Ann Phelan and Galician born Francisco Estévez. Galicia is the northeastern region of Spain where the Camino ends in the city of Santiago de Compostela. Francisco was born on the village of Salceda de Caselas, very near Tui on the Camino Portugués. It is not impossible that growing up Martin would have learnt about Galicia, Santiago and the Camino from his father.
Why we love it
Because it’s a fun and entertaining film. Because it stars Martin Sheen. But above all, despite some minor inaccuracies, because it does a fantastic job of portraying pilgrim life and the Camino!
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